Do you have $20-30 million to spare? Ever thought of owning what will probably become the most expensive real estate in cyberspace?
Sex.com, the domain name touted as one of the most valuable in history, will go up for auction next week after its previous owner defaulted on the loan taken up to finance its purchase.
The website name was last bought in 2006 by Escom LLC for a reported record $14 million backed by DOM Partners LLC, a lender from New Jersey. But the lender is now foreclosing the Internet property after the owner Escom failed to pay its loan. Bidding, which is due to start on March 18 in New York, would start at $1 million. Bidders are required to require to produce a certified check for $1 million in order to participate.
Auctions for simple domain names are a good opportunity for internet entrepreneurs but such domain names are very expensive now. When the internet was still in its infancy, shrewd investors snapped up basic domain names for basic prices only to sell them for sky-high profits a few years later.
Sex.com however has had a turbulent history including allegations of theft and countless court cases. It was originally registered by Gary Kremen, the entrepreneur who founded dating website match.com, in 1994.
In 1995, through a scam, the ownership was transferred to “porn baron” Stephen Cohen, resulting in a five-year legal battle over ownership. A Californian judge awarded $65 million in damages to Mr Kremen and returned him the rights to sex.com. He eventually put the site on the market in 2006, and Escom reportedly paid $14 million for it.
According to Charles Carreon, a lawyer who wrote about the domain’s legal troubles in his book “The Sex.com Chronicles”, the site generated $15,000 a day in revenue at one point. So you can imagine how valuable this domain name is. The domain toys.com was bought by Toys “R” us last year for $5.1 million. I think it’s a foregone certainty that sex.com will easily sell for $20 million or more!